BYU Law School’s Dean of Admissions Advises Applicants to Present ‘Them in as Positive a Light as Possible’ | Tech US News

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The J. Reuben Clark School of Law is located on the east side of campus. This BYU Law School is located on the BYU campus and Anthony Grover serves as the Dean of Admissions. (Olivia Tillotson)

BYU Law School Admissions Dean Anthony Grover advised pre-law students to do well on their law school applications.

According to the Law School Admissions Council, students who want to be considered for admission must prepare applications, take the LSAT, submit letters of recommendation and more.

“I want candidates to take the time to present themselves in as positive a light as possible,” Grover said. “I see a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes, they leave out the name of the other school they applied to, and they don’t follow basic instructions.”

Grover also said it’s important for students to develop writing, analytical reasoning, editing and relationships with professors who can write positive letters of recommendation.

“We look at law school entrance exam scores and grade point averages, but we also look for people who we believe can handle the rigors of law school academically and who we feel will contribute to the law school community,” Grover said.

Grover said he made students stand out best through their personal statements, resumes, letters of recommendation and optional essays.

These skills are important because, according to Grover, the writing parts of applications tend to be the weakest.

A common misconception Grover encounters about law school is the idea that there are certain majors, clubs or jobs that will make pre-law students more acceptable to admissions officers.

“Educationally, one of the best ways to prepare for law school would be to do well academically,” Grover said. “Choose a major you like because you want to have the best GPA possible, and if you enjoy your studies, you’ll do better.”

Kris Tina Carlston, director of BYU’s Center for Pre-Professional Advising, said that work experience in the legal field does not make you a better candidate than those with work experience in other fields.

“It’s good for you because you can get a better idea of ​​whether law school is right for you, so it provides personal value, but don’t do it if you think it will make you more attractive to admissions officers,” Carlston said.

Carlston advises that students gain experience in other fields of study or the workforce, as you can then transfer that experience to the legal field. She is convinced that law needs people from all backgrounds.

“I did a study a few years ago to see if one major was better on the LSAT or if more came, and there was no difference,” Carlston said. “Law schools want to know who you are as a person, so being interested in different things makes you a more interesting candidate.”

Aurea Orencia, a BYU political science major currently applying to law schools, said pre-law students should branch out and get involved in things that interest them.

“As a freshman I was very worried about being overwhelmed, but don’t be afraid to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way,” Orencia said.

One opportunity that Orencia said helped her determine if law school was right for her was the BYU Pre-Law program. She said she wishes she had been more involved in the pre-law review and committee here on campus earlier.

“Rip off the Band-Aid and take an LSAT practice session, sign up for an LSAT prep course, attend personal statement workshops available on Zoom, and visit our website,” Carlston said.

She said the Center for Pre-Professional Advising is hosting the annual BYU Law School Fair, where there will be even more opportunities for pre-law students to take advantage of.

Jon Wayas, assistant director of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, said BYU also hosts pre-law symposia.

“This is an opportunity to get into law school, learn about the application process, meet and hear from current law students and faculty, see what a day at law school is like, and even take a mock lecture,” Wayas said.

Grover said the law school has a monthly event called World of Law, where a BYU law professor or someone affiliated with the school presents an area of ​​law. Grover said the law school also has many other events that students can attend to help them make the decision to go to law school and see that it’s not as scary as it seems.

Grover said the biggest misconception he sees about law school is that law school is too competitive and that students are out to win over each other.

He said that at BYU Law, while students do face stress and a sense of competition, the waters really aren’t as shark-infested as is often portrayed.

“Our classrooms are permeated by a spirit of cooperation and understanding in which we are all together,” Grover said. “Students help each other, exchange notes, and develop relationships that will benefit them both professionally and personally.”

Grover’s final word of advice to those applying to pre-law schools is to apply as early as possible, preferably at least by the law school’s JD priority deadline, because most law schools admit on a staggered basis.

“If you wait until later in the cycle, there are often a lot fewer unfilled seats and scholarship money may run out,” Grover said. “It’s a lot harder to get in when you apply to school later.”

Information about BYU Law School shows admissions statistics. Researching different law schools is an important part of deciding where to apply. (Created by Olivia Tillotson at Canva)
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